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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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05.08.13         photography  

Muzzle Flash Photography | SCAR 17S Heavy


In this post, Ill describe how to get this and other muzzle flash type shots:
So I have been doing a lot of shooting recently and last night my friend Brandon and I thought it would be cool to get a shot of a gun firing, in this case an FN SCAR 17S (Heavy), which is really a fun gun to shoot. Wow…amazing little recoil. If you were going to have to choose & rely on one singe rifle, there is a really good argument that it should be the SCAR 17S. Fires a 7.62 Nato Round (.308 Winchester) and has great reach (~800 yards in the hands of a skilled shooter).

For optics I went with the EO Tech Holographic Sight in the front with a 3x "Flip to the Side" Magnifier in the back.
Due to safety rules however, its just a flat out bad idea to stand in front of any firearm for the sake of photography, DO NOT EVER DO THIS.

Instead use a tripod and timer or a remote trigger.

This technique could also work with lightning:

Here is the set up:

1. Compose you shot on a tripod, go to manual focus using live view so you know exactly where the camera will be focused on and not change.
2. Using a remote or timer, take a test shot. Its pretty much impossible to try to take a fast shutter speed image to capture the action, (yes you could get lucky), it is better to go with a longer shutter speed, say 2-5 seconds. If you are using a timer, you will see the red light on the camera you know when the exposure is occurring.
3. Once the shutter opens fire the weapon downrange.
4. Inspect the results and tweak as needed.

For the plain muzzle flash shot, f3.5, 2" ISO 400 was perfect, I was shooting this on a Canon 5Diii with a Canon 70-200 2.8 IS L .

I shot with both RAW and JPEG, because I wasn't sure how far I would bump up the ISO.

Here is a good example of a muzzle flash:
We decided to take this process a step further, and go for portrait shots, with a muzzle flash.

I pulled the composition back, again in live view. We didn't have much light, so we used an iPhone to dial the focus in, repeated the shot:
Needed some fill light, and not having a flash, we decided to use a smart phone's LED light (essentially painting with light):
Make sure your subject does not move when you are painting him in with the LED.

Techniques Covered:

- Manual Zoom Focusing is covered on every live view lesson of each of my Canon & Nikon camera training videos
- Painting with Light is covered specifically in: Advanced Photography Techniques Download

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